Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Analyzing the Dodgers-Time Warner Cable deal

Here’s my Variety analysis of the imminent deal between the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable that will create a new network dedicated to the Big Blue Wrecking Crew.

By partnering to launch a new regional cable network in an overflowing market rather than making a straightforward rights deal, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable have doubled down on their belief that skyrocketing revenues in the sports TV world are anything but a bubble.

The Dodgers could have simply sold their post-2013 cable rights to Time Warner Cable Sports Net’s English and Spanish components — joining a pair of networks that only launched less than four months ago — or to current host Fox Sports Net. Either way, the Dodgers could have counted on getting $6 billion or more over the next 20-25 years (triple the price that Guggenheim Partners paid for the entire team in March), with no need to worry about the future health of sports TV revenue.

For its part, Time Warner Cable could have said that two new networks were enough and held fast against launching any more into a market that some believe has plenty, thank you.

Instead, according to sources commenting on a deal that has yet to be officially announced, the Dodgers will draw a still healthy commitment from Time Warner Cable that comes with the heightened risk/reward scenario of an ownership stake. …

Read the rest of the story here


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  1. peter drysdale

    What kind of stuff is going to be shown on the channel besides the live games? I can guess you’ll have pre- and post-game shows and maybe one or two other Dodger related shows. But that is a lot of time to fill up. Especially during the off-season. I guess they’ll show classic games but surely that’s not enough.

  2. so does this mean if I dont have time warner as my service provider I won’t be able to watch my dodger games?

    • The network will need to sign deals with all providers, just like the Lakers channels. 

      • Anonymous

        Hopefully negotiations have already begun.  I don’t want to lose a few weeks worth of games due to another corporate high stakes game of chicken. 

        • KT

          it won’t happen until 2014…not like the Laker channel that was done a few days before the season

  3. There is a factor for the Dodgers that we don’t like to consider, but here it is.  The Vin may be immortal, but there’s a chance he isn’t.  How much of an effect does he have on the ratings, the sales to sponsors, etc.?

    • Anonymous

       Huge, but while fans will be sad, a goodly number will still tune in, just like when Chick Hearn passed.

  4. Anonymous

    Thanks for the article Jon. I feel uneasy about all this. Had planned to cut the cord  this year (dish sub here) , but might wait til 2014 to see how the providers handle this–and whether Vin might decide this is the year to hang up the mike. Bought an old style corded AM radio, might just listen to the games the way my grampa did.

    And get off my lawn.

  5. Even if this is a “bubble” as some are predicting, from my perspective the Dodgers are set to gain. The “bubble” will officially burst when KC or Minnesota attempt to cash in on the TV bonanza and get shafted with a back ended deal that doesn’t pay out. But the sheer volume of people in Los Angeles tells me that betting on live entertainment (which is the last defense for sponsors and advertisers) isn’t a bad bet at all. 

    On a cool, overcast January morning, when it looked like rain, and the season was still 2 1/2 months away, over 21,000 blue clad folks turned out for Fan Fest. That tells me something. The fans are coming back! I think Chavez Ravine will be rocking this season, looking forward to another record setting attendance year.

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